SMU’s men’s basketball team started the season with an eight-point win over metroplex rival Texas Christian University Friday night, 69-61.
The Mustangs got off to a hot start; they had a double digit lead for a significant portion of the first half.
By halftime, though, the Horned Frogs whittled away at the Mustang’s lead and went into the locker room down 30-29, due in part to their quality shooting from behind the three-point line.
The Mustangs caught a blow on the chin at the beginning of the second half, as TCU went on a shooting spree to put Head Coach Larry Brown and company down by more than five.
After the initial onslaught, SMU recovered and went on a run of their own, accruing a double-digit lead about midway through the second half.
A furious last-minute effort from the Horned Frogs closed the deficit, but was not enough to defeat the Mustangs.
The win marks the third-straight year in a row that SMU has been victorious on the hard court against TCU.
Although beating TCU seems to be routine for SMU, it was the beginning of a new era for many of the players wearing Harvard red and Yale blue.
Illinois State University transfer Nic Moore played his first game in two years after sitting out per NCAA transfer rules.
The point guard had a stellar night: he scored a team-high 13 points on the night with eight rebounds and four assists.
First-year Keith Fraizer’s debut did not disappoint the crowd.
He had 11 points and shot 60 percent from behind the arc.
“There isn’t a shot he thinks he cant make. As soon as he walks in the area code, he’s ready to let it go,” Brown said at the postgame press conference.
“For him to play as well as we know he can, he’s gotta learn to guard, he’s gotta learn time to score… there’s a lot of things he needs to get better at, but he comes every day and tries. He just wants
Brown said he wished, however, that the big man play would have been more dominant.
“Our big guys did not take advantage of their lack of size,” he said.
“Our big guys played small. We played Colorado and Texas Tech, and our big guys dominated; we didn’t dominate tonight. Cannen Cunningham was the only big guy that played big for us.”
One of the most exciting attractions for SMU basketball fans did not even have to suit up to cause a stir. SMU five-star commit Emmanuel Mudiay made an appearance at the game. Once the student section realized that he was in attendance, it exploded into chants of his last name and hit a fever pitch when the high school senior stood to acknowledge them.
The Mustang’s next home game is tonight at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, due to renovation at Moody Coliseum.
The Mustangs will face off against the University of Rhode Island Rams, who are coming off of a victory over the University of Maine. The Rams beat the Mustangs in convincing fashion last year.